This shadow box represents some of my assigned identities. One of my assigned identities is being Mexican. To represent that I included “Sinaloa” and “Nayarit.” These parts of Mexico is where my dad and mom came from. The flag in the background also represent my ethnicity. I also included La Virgen de Guadalupe and Jesus Malverde to show what my family and I believe in. The name “Gastelum” in the top is my last name. This represents a lot because my dad’s family from Sinaloa is big and have been through tough obstacles, which makes us a strong family. Our last name is also unique that everyone who has this name is my relative. The horse in the middle represents what my family and I like. We like to go ride horses when we go to Mexico, especially in Nayarit since my mom is from a small town called “Amatlan de Cañas” in Nayarit . The pink with glitter at the bottom of my shadow box represents that I am biologically a female. I am also the only daughter out of the 3 of my brothers. Being the only daughter has made me realize a lot. For example, how to be independent, have a lot of respect for myself, and to know my worth. A lot of women get put down because our society calls us “weak” for being female. This is the counter narrative I want to represent with some of these objects in my shadow box. 

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Athena Weiland
Athena Weiland
April 11, 2020 1:23 am

Dear Yaritza,

I am a student at San Jose State University. Thank you for sharing your shadow box, I really enjoyed all of the effort and color you used and put into every single detail of your box. One of my favorite things from this post is how much your family name means to you, half of my family migrated to America from Puerto Rico and they are my very close-knit family. I also am the only daughter of my mother, but the oldest so I learned a lot about how to be a good big sister and take care of them when I was young. I wonder what are some other ways we can counteract the narrative society gives females as being “weak”?

Thank you so much for sharing,

October 31, 2019 4:54 am

Hello Yaritza. My name is Jayme, and I am a student at San Jose State University. I wanted to say that I really enjoyed your work. It was really awkward to hear about how proud you are of your culture and background. It was also nice to know how empowered you are of your gender. That’s inspiring. One question I do have is about the sentence, ” I am also the only daughter out of the 3 of my brothers.” I was curious to know if you are the oldest or youngest. Just to better understand how you were able to grow away as an independent female from your brothers, and push away from the common, but outdated, stereotypes of females. I really enjoyed your piece. Keep up the good work.

October 30, 2019 8:13 pm

Hello! I am a freshman at San Jose State University. I find it very inspiring that being the only girl in the family has helped you become more independent, have more respect for yourself, and has helped you know your worth. Out of curiosity, how do you know that your last name is so unique that only those who have it are in your family? I also admire how family is really important to you and how it has shaped you into who you are today. I really enjoyed reading your shadow box!

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